Polar Golf a hole in one for Hasbro Children's Hospital

Johnston Sun Rise ·

Not since 1929 has there been such an innovative golf go-round at picturesque Glocester Country Club as there was Monday at the private and snow-covered nine-hole layout.

The New Year’s Day event, in fact, could have been entitled “Three Shots off the Porch” that someone suggested would even be “a great name for a new January 1st cocktail.”

Yet, neither the frigid temperatures that dipped to three below zero before Monday’s sparkling sun shined upon the highly popular golf club and surrounding Waterman Lake in Greenville, or the fact that Glocester Country Club was unplayable because of the snow was going to prevent the Johnston Memorial Cancer Events 4th Annual Polar Golf Tournament from teeing off.

Unlike the three previous New Year’s Day golf events, Monday’s tourney – or chipping contest of sorts – was held anywhere on the nine-hole layout.

As Chairperson Judi Graham, who along with her husband David served as a two-person welcoming committee, announced “this is our (JMCE) Polar Pitch Contest.”

What transpired was this: GCC members and “fantastic friends of the JMCE” showed up and paid $20 per person to take three chances to hit a golf ball off the back porch and into a bucket some 80 or so feet away or get as close to it as possible during either one or all of their shots.

“This is quite a hoot,” one man said while taking off his cold weather gear inside the already cold GCC clubhouse. “Heck, anyone can come close to that bucket.”

The trick, or test as some people called it, was placing a golf ball on a square piece of green carpet and using an iron to test their mettle to hit the ball off the GCC back porch and into the bucket or as close to it as possible.

Once each and every golfer took his or her turn, Paula Catuogno and Al Audette wound up as winners of the respective men’s and women’s divisions.

But the real winner, as Graham, who has long been a board member of the JMCE, as well as Bonnie Mara who actually spearheaded the event and graved the bond-chilling cold to retrieve golf balls that were hit onto the grove where the actual bucket was placed, was the Oncology Unit at Hasbro Children’s Hospital.

“This is our fist event of many to be held for our (JMCE) on-going support at Hasbro Children’s Hospital,” Graham said. “Thank you to all who participated and who even donated without playing. It’s generosity like that that has helped up raise over $175,000 in 10 years for the programs at Hasbro.”

Monday’s collection, as Graham later called it, “is $580 and for that we thank everyone who is here.”

Graham, though, heaped words of praise upon Marra, who not only led the organizing committee but also provided the prizes and also made and packaged the oversized chocolate covered apples for people to take home as a remembrance of what now ranks as a historic Polar Pitch Contest at GCC.